Jump to contentJump to search

Welcome to the In-Cube-bator

Your idea accelerator

Cube is the incubator program of the Center for Entrepreneurship (CEDUS) at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. We accompany you on your way to startup – and help to develop your idea into a marketable business model.

The program: How Cube works

With Cube, you get exactly the support you need  tailored to your team, your business idea and your needs. But how exactly does the incubator program work? We give you an overview. 


To participate in our incubator program, simply apply via our website. If you have any questions in advance, please contact us.


At the beginning, you pitch your startup project to us. This allows us to identify potentials but also weaknesses and risks – and to tailor our support exactly to your needs.


We discuss the next steps in a detailed meeting, clarify expectations and agree on the direction and a roadmap for further cooperation.


The individual coaching includes basic workshops, additional offers by our mentors, as well as regular feedback sessions and open exchange rounds.


Now it is time: Your idea and business plan have been worked out, all lights are green, and you want to get started? Then pitch your startup concept to investors from our network – and if it goes well, you can secure your first funding.

Our coachings

In addition to the individual support of our consultants, we accompany you with individual coaching sessions by mentors and experts from our network. We adapt the content to your individual situation in close consultation with you.

What type of founder are you? How well do your individual personalities, ideas and working methods fit together? How do you create a constructive working environment for the whole team? We address these questions right at the beginning to eliminate potential obstacles early on. 

Canvas is the magic word, and we'll teach you everything you need to know about. Even better: you will be able to apply the knowledge you have gained directly. Because in the end, it is not just a good product that counts, but a solid, marketable business model. 

Who exactly are your customers and how can you reach them? Together we work out your target groups, get to know them better and lay the foundation for a successful marketing strategy. After all, customer acquisition and customer loyalty are crucial success factors for your company. 

At the beginning of your journey, you should describe your self-image, the basic principles, and the purpose of your company in a mission statement. This helps you to identify with your own business and to present your products or services to potential customers. 

What do you want your product to look like? What features does your MVP need? We will introduce you to prototyping formats such as storyboarding, click dummies, mock-ups, or the business value network and together we will consider what is best suited for you. 

We introduce you to the entrepreneurial decision logic Effectuation as well as the Lean Startup method in detail and discuss how both can help you in the founding process or everyday life. And of course, we will support you in the practical application. 

It never hurts to know the basics of business administration and to refresh the most important basics – in a practical way, using concrete examples and individually tailored to your previous knowledge. If required, we can give you a crash course! 

Soon after the initial foundation, the question arises how you want to manage your company and your employees – and what needs to be considered. We work with you to develop a long-term growth strategy that also takes leadership roles and responsibilities into account. 

You have worked out your business model in detail – but still the desired success does not materialize? There is no reason to bury your head in the sand: There are various ways to develop your company further and to discover new potential through pivoting or iteration. 

After getting to know your customers better in "Customer orientation and target groups", the next step is to identify the right communication channels and sales markets. Together we will develop a sales and marketing strategy tailored to your products or services. 

You have probably already heard of the so-called elevator pitch in which you present your startup project in just 30 seconds and must convince the jury in the shortest possible time. Whether in an elevator, in front of a jury or in front of investors: We will show you what is important in a pitch and how to sell yourself, your team and the startup project in the best possible way. 

Of course, we have by no means covered all the relevant areas in the startup process with the above-mentioned topics. The mentors and experts from our network are also available to help you with questions about taxes, intellectual property rights or product development, for example. 

Our mentors and experts

Do you want to delve deeper into certain topics, do you have specific questions or would you like the advice of someone with a lot of startup know-how? Our network of professionals is there to help you.

Jules Banning

The Agile and Startup Coach from Cologne specializes in Pitch Trainings, Lean Startup and New Work. Accompanying startups on their way to success or initiating change processes in established companies is not only her job, it is her great passion.

Alena Engelhard

Alena is a digitalisation expert with strong communication, process and organisational skills. She focuses on the individual development of people in change processes and supports startups in Mensch goes digital with structured coaching and valuable knowledge.

Caro Gattermann

After Caro learned the marketing trade from scratch, she managed the corporate communications of the accelerator STARTPLATZ in Cologne and Düsseldorf for about five years and accompanied here – and as a startup coach under the name "Bekannt ohne Budget" - well over 100 startups to date.

Dr. Anna Katharina Heide

Our patent/trademark (IP) expert Anna Katharina is a German patent attorney and European patent attorney at RUHR-IP Patentanwälte. She represents SMEs and global companies in the life sciences, has intensive experience in all matters concerning IP product strategy as well as drafting various IP contracts.

Jana Honeftidis

After many years abroad and experience in the corporate world, Jana got to know and love the startup scene in Lisbon. Back in Germany, she followed her new passion and built up the accelerator STARTPLATZ, which she managed for 4 years. Now she helps logistics and supply chain startups to successfully enter the market at startport.

Hannah Kreutzer

After studying Media, Politics and Society at the HHU and a master’s degree in 
Innopreneurship at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Hannah is now an Innopreneur 
with a great passion for startups and the latest addition to meta maniacs, an agency for brands based in Essen.

Prof. Dr. Eva Lutz

As holder of the Chair of Entrepreneurship & Financing, Eva is an expert in particular on financing options for startups. She brings not only her academic experience but also her extensive practical knowledge to the mentoring.

B. J. Park

The founding partner of 
neoteq ventures, an early-stage VC fund based in Cologne, has been successfully working with startups for over 15 years. Thanks to his vast experience, he knows plenty of tips and tricks on building a company, which he will be happy to pass on to you. 

Siju Samuelkutty

The coach & lecturer for trend research and IT trends specialises in supporting start-ups. As the founder of a start-up network, Siju wants to inspire people for a better life and business. At Mensch goes digital, he emphasises innovation, technology and intercultural & family aspects.

Christoph Sommer

After many years of international startup experience for the state of NRW, Christoph is now responsible for innovation management at NEW AG. He has the right answers to all your questions about topics such as (renewable) energy, mobility or sustainability.

Georgis Tesfamariam

The Managing Director of 
Contio GmbH works as a catalyst and enabler for change on a cultural, process and product level. He is also a Certified Product Owner, 
certified SCRUM Master, OKR 
Champion as well as Agile Coach and has implemented over 250 projects with startups & corporates in recent years.

Carsten Dolch

In 2016, Carsten founded the startup FoxBase together with his co-founder Benjamin Dammertz, whose software solution digitises B2B sales throughout Germany. Carsten previously worked as an IT consultant for 10 years, where he dealt with topics such as data analytics, machine learning and AI.

Maxi Fernau

As one of the first graduates of the Innopreneurship program at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Maxi gained experience at LG's Technology Center Europe and is now Innovation & Data Manager at the strategy consultancy Fritz Classen. His focus is on target group segmentation. 

Prof. Dr. Steffi Haag

How do I design digital products and services that my customers love? Steffi helps you deliver a great user experience (UX). As a professor for digital innovation and entrepreneurship, she is also happy to support you with questions about the design and management of IT-based business models.

Dr. Marisa Henn

As an Academic Teacher in Entrepreneurship at HHU, Marisa offers various events around the topic of entrepreneurship. Her focus is on teaching startup knowledge for non-business majors.

Peter Hornik

Peter discovered his enthusiasm for entrepreneurship during his studies. He founded his first company in 2001 and has been supporting young founders as a business angel since 2006. In 2012, he founded 1stMOVER together with Dr. Klemens Gaida and has also been the CEO of digihub Düsseldorf/Rheinland since 2016.

Philipp Langnickel

Managing Partner of the deep-tech venture builder Venture Creator, former co-founder of the cybersecurity startup Code Intelligence and now business angel for various technology startups coaches early-stage B2B startups in sales, business development and recruiting. 

Manuel Müller

Currently an Innopreneurship 
student at UDE, Manuel founded the startup RE:Charge 
in 2018 to contribute to the mobility revolution. His focus is on social entrepreneurship, lean impact as well as sustainability. In addition, he is committed to responsible entrepreneurship. 

Matthias Rombey

What started in 2012 with a branch in Düsseldorf, Matthias has developed into a successful franchise concept for frozen yogurt.  If you have any questions about classic business startups and gastronomy, you have come to the right place. 

Stephanie Schumacher

Our expert on the topic of 
Ideation will help you find new ways of thinking. No matter what problem or challenge you are facing, her exciting creative methods will provide you with completely new perspectives. 

Stefan Sommer

During his time as a research assistant at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Stefan founded the tech start-up gapchgarge with his co-founders. Before that, he worked as an internal consultant in an industrial company. His focus is on the development of technology-driven business models.

Dr. Kirsten Thiergart

Our legal expert Kirsten is an Attorney and Salaried Partner at law firm 
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek. Previously, she headed the Commercial and Corporate
Law Department at KPMG Law Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft 
for several years and has many years of experience in M&A.

Requirements for you:

To participate in our incubator program Cube, there are a few requirements: 

  • At least one member of your team is studying or working at HHU – or is an HHU alumni
  • You are at an early stage of the startup process
  • You are willing to put in your full effort and commitment

Our advisors will check whether your idea is suitable for the incubator programme and how they can support you individually.

Mentors wanted!

For our incubator program we are always looking for mentors with startup experience as well as experts on various startup topics. Interested?

Questions? Comments? Need to talk?

Do you have any questions about our incubator program, your application or the further process? Then please contact us.

Isabell Nethke

Deputy Head of CEDUS & Consulting

Isabell Nethke
+49 211 81-11643

Responsible for the content: